Dear Matt: Skinz

Posted by on Sep 25, 2011 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

No better name for Dear Matt yet, so we’ll just roll with what we got.

I’m really close to pulling the trigger on some skins.  Any opinion or difference between the recoveries or actives.  Skins website says recovery has added comfort with less seams blah blah blah.  What’s your opinion?

Skinz are a brand of recovery compression gear that are enormously popular in the Crossfit community. While its a brand name, the name has become synonymous with the product. Kind of like Velcro is a brand or Band-aid is the brand.

First, there are two types of Skinz that I consider (I’m sure Skinz purists or representatives will show that this is inaccurate). These types are active and recovery. Basically, one that you wear while working out and one that you wear afterwards.

I do not have enough experience with the active wear to really make a good opinion. I have only ever tried the full body suit, but I find it to be a little restrictive and hot. Granted, I generally hate clothes and like to be as naked as Mark and Chris will allow when I’m in the gym. So maybe I’m not a good judge. I know a lot of people love to wear partial compression sleeves to help with problem areas, but without the restrictions and heat.

The other kind is the full recovery kind. This is what you wear after the activity. I like these a lot and have worn them for a while with great success. Since I’m not doing anything while I wear them, the restrictions and the heat is easily mitigated or inconsequential.

The thing to keep in mind is that whether you think that they work or not, this is not at game changer.

There are somethings that you can do that will have a great impact on your performance. So here’s a little chart to help put this into perspective. The percentage represents and estimated percentage for potential performance increase.

*Note: This is not scientific, and just randomly assigned numbers.

40% Change






-Mobility Work



-Recovery Meals


-Weightlifting Shoes

-Proper Warm Up

-Mental State


-Compression Shorts or Rock Tape

-Bar and Plates

-The Wind/Sun/Weather


So you can see that I think that these things can have an impact. If you are struggling to recover than maybe its closer to a 5% or 10% change. Maybe my whole chart is messed up, but I think the point is true.

Skinz will not turn you from a scaled competitor into Jason Khalipa. Skinz may help you recover between workouts and be a second degree effect that will lead to a personal record. They may be what helps you get over an elbow issue and finally get that snatch you’ve been chasing. They may be that little thing or that gets you to a near goal.

They are not magical, bionic recovery sleeves.

In the case of this particular athlete (male who is a solid scaled competitor), I think that the recovery Skinz are a great bet. Especially if there is a nagging sore spot or area of limited mobility that takes a pounding during workouts.

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Posted by on Sep 24, 2011 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

I don’t know if everyone knows this, but there are some amazing opportunities coming up at Crossfit Inception. As Columbus, Georgia’s only Crossfit box, we sort of have a monopoly on coaching functional training here in the Chattahoochee River Valley.

The only major downside to being such a large gym (other than having to learn over two hundred names) is that it gets difficult to give people the one on one attention that they need to break through plateaus. I have noticed that in athletes that I like to call true novices (ie. six months to a year of training experience) the major barriers to hitting big PR’s are mental and technique.

While I cannot talk much about brain patterns, I can say that there is only so much you can do with crappy form. Its like a Ferrari only goes so fast if you are constantly turning left.

The first opportunity is a Weightlifting Seminar by our friends at Crossfit Faction. I am about to quit my job because its preventing me from going to it. Olympic Weightlifting (the snatch and clean and jerk) are predominantly skill exercises. These are two of the most complex and beautiful movements in all of sport. People dedicate their entire lives to its intricacies.

So, when you have to do something like “Isabel” “Grace” “Randy” or any PR there is no wonder that it takes so much attention and coaching to fix and perfect this movement.

It is definitely worth the time and energy.

We also have a Kettlebell Workshop coming, but check the tab at the top for that or send me an email at

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Every Cheat Meal I’ve Had Since I Turned 27

Posted by on Sep 23, 2011 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

I used to keep a daily food log, and I’ll probably try to bring it back here in the near future. This will help me put out the recipes I cook and to spot check my own bullshit.

I said yesterday that I’ve been cheating more often than I have a couple of weeks ago. Most of these are actually pretty minor, with one or two really good ones here and there.

Like I said earlier, I haven’t written down everything I’ve eaten, but I do not think that I’ve left everything out.

30 July (My Birthday is the 27th, but I celebrated on a Saturday)

I drank 3 Four Lokos, blacked out and don’t really remember what I did or ate.

14 August

I was in Houston to promote one of my old Squad Leaders. We had a few beers at a Hooters. No food and I had fresh caught fish from the Gulf for lunch and dinner. It was maybe a total of four Yuenglings.

21 August:

Following the Survival of the Fittest a group of us went to Five Guys for delicious bacon covered burgers.

Labor Day Weekend:

A good buddy just back from Afghanistan came into town. I had to work on Saturday, so we did a cook out at Camp Darby. I had a few Red Bridges at Turner Field during the game, but nothing other than that.

8 September:

While staying with Taco before the RKC, I ate some eggplant parmesan. I made him make mine without the breadcrumbs because I am a dick and was pretty nervous going into it. It did have cheese.

16 September:

I had some sushi and coconut milk ice cream for lunch and thai food for dinner. So two meals in one day that had rice. Also, coconut milk ice cream is the most delicious faileo food ever. I will rochambeau you if you dispute this claim.

So I guess my estimation was way off. That’s five times in eight weeks. There’s really only three meals (birthday celebration, the eggplant parmesan, and the Thai food) that are not strictly Paleo.

I would say that the eggplant parmesan was the worst meal on the list. Taco is a great cook and it was delicious, but it violated a lot of my rules. It was trumped by the “try not to be an asshole rule”.

Following my last big, multi-day bender I went strict with no cheats from New Years Eve until Rumble by the River. So that was about a five month period.

The biggest change since than has been work. Going 24 hours on, 24 hours off is a pretty big hindrance. I feel this leading to a Whole30 detox coming on pretty soon.

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Weight Watchers and Paleo

Posted by on Sep 22, 2011 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Question left in yesterday’s comments:

So can you be on weight watchers and still be paleo? I’m trying to figure out this dilemma myself. I have no time to cook, feel like I overeat the good foods (like bacon, nuts, etc) and have zero willpower…it’s a very frustrating situation. I wish there were paleo nutritionists or at least restaurants or sections in the grocery stores. Whole Foods has lots of gluten free food but they still have soy or some bad oils. It should not be this hard to eat healthy….

Simple answer is we need to do another grocery store field trip and no.

I’m sure there is technically a way to do it, it would not help you since the two programs conflict on a lot of levels. It’d be like trying to be a Roman Catholic Jew; sure a lot of it is the same but than you run into issues when one program starts pushing its pre-packaged food on you and telling you that a staple of the other is bad.

The whole animal fat good or bad thing would have you spinning in circle.

I think the simplest way to do this is that everything that comes in a package is bad and that you need to cook things in mass quantities.

Yesterday I made a chili recipe that has so far provided me with two meals, my roommate with one meal, and our buddy Ben with one meal. I’m eating it for lunch today and have some frozen.

So an hours worth of work makes enough food for a week. Especially since all of us are big eaters.

If you are struggling with this you need to do three things:

1. Only buy food with one ingredient

2. Do as much cooking on a large scale as you can (and freeze the extras)

3. Stop snacking so much


The last point is hard for most Americans, since we are used to constantly eating. We’re told from a young age that we need to eat at all time to maintain our blood sugars. Food companies bombard us with advertising and hyper-palatable foods so that we are constantly craving something sweet.

Frankly, its not natural and if food was that readily available, we would have developed into a much different species.

I am usually not that keen on intermittent fasting, but if food addiction is that big of a problem you might want to try it once or twice a week just to break your brain and liver of the chemical dependency of having a constant flow of glucose.

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Fresh Market Favorites

Posted by on Sep 21, 2011 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

So let’s be honest here; I love to cook, but after a 27 hour shift there is a greater chance of me coming home to find Playboy Centerfold(s) waiting for me in my bed than there is of me actually cooking something more complicated than bacon and eggs.

I think that this is true for pretty much everyone in every life situation.

In Columbus, we have a Fresh Market chain grocery store that’s about halfway between my house and Crossfit Inception. To say that I shop there a lot is an understatement: my roommate and I are on a first name basis with a half-dozen employees.

Like anything else, there are better and worse pre-made options here.

My go to is to get a pound of the natural rotisserie wings. Its the same thing as those fancy rotisserie chickens, but only the parts you really want to eat. They are not seasoned with anything or covered in any sauce.

I know its crappily sourced chicken and I know it has a shitty n-3 profile, but after spending a full day seeing how smelly I can become they hit the spot.

The pre-made section also has natural ribs. They are slow cooked and once again free of any sauce or questionable seasoning. I would actually prefer these to the wings, but the ribs are generally dry.

Conventionally raised pork generally has a better n-3 profile and I like ribs more than wings any day of the week. I just can’t justify spending money on something that is disappointing.

There are a few different types of baked salmon there too. Obviously salmon is a better choice than any of the other options I’ve mentioned. Unfortunately all of the options there are in some form of sauce that I don’t trust. Sure, it all tastes good, but I don’t like what I don’t know.

Fish also cooks quickly enough that I think I can muster the strength enough to season and cook it on my own for less money and without waiting in line with insufferable people waiting to order.

For side dishes, the sushi section has a seaweed and a calamari salad. I was really excited for the calamari salad, but the way they make it includes both wheat and soy. Which are two things that I have a hard time justifying no matter what I eat.

The seaweed salad, however, is the hotness. Its cool and crispy. Its loaded with electrolytes and iodine. It is free of anything I’ll judge you for eating. Its only down side is that you need to floss after eating it.

Occasionally, I’ll eat some the nigiri. Its maybe once every six weeks. I love sushi and its one of my all time favorite cheat meals.

I find myself cheating more often than I did a few months ago. Its still rare, maybe once every two or three weeks. I do not have nearly as much time to cook as I did a few months ago, so its a lot harder to avoid the temptations when I am tired and have nothing pre-made.

The ironic thing is that the more beat down you are, the more important it is to keep your diet strict. This is because you’re body is already struggling to overcome sleep deprivation, recovery deficit, and other stressors.

For the record, these cheats are never anything crazy and always gluten free. Stay tuned sports fans, I’ll list them all tomorrow.

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